Sunscreen myths vs. facts

Sunscreen myths vs. facts

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - This past weekend was the unofficial kickoff for summer. More and more of us will start spending time outdoors and that could mean an unpleasant time taking care of a sunburn. But that could be just the beginning of skin troubles.

Skin cancer is one of those things that's so easy to think about when you're enjoying the long awaited spring and summer weather.

Doctors say a lot of skin damage actually happens before age 18. So moms and dads, stress that to your teens and keep an eye on the little ones.Researchers also find blistering sunburns in your youth more than double the chances of developing skin cancer later.

People 30 and under in fact, are getting melanoma at a faster rate than any other group.

You need to be on the lookout for pain, bleeding, or itching and get that checked out right away.

Doctors say when choosing a sunscreen look for UVA and UVB protection with an SPF between 30 and 50.

So what's the best to use? Should I spray it on or smear it? And how high an SPF do I need?Doctors say as long as you have an SPF of 30, you're fine. You're protected very well. Doctors say anything higher than that is purely marketing.

Experts say spray sunscreens are fine as long as you dont inhale them and also after you apply them. You spread them around so they're evenly distributed just like lotions or creams.

So what about "natural" sunscreens? Turns out the term natural isn't regulated by the FDA and so it's basically meaningless on a sunscreen label.

By far the biggest recent myth is a new product being touted as "drinkable" sunscreen. It has to do with making water molecules in the skin vibrate to block UV rays.

The most important thing to remember about sunscreen is to use it early, often, and liberally. Put it on 20 minutes before going out in the sun and use a lot. Use a shot glass full for a full body application and re-apply every couple of hours or sooner if you're sweating or swimming.

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